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December 16th, 2009
12:00 PM ET

Obama considering sweeping deficit action

By Ed Henry, CNN

Washington (CNN) - President Obama is seriously considering an executive order to create a bipartisan commission that could weigh sweeping tax increases and spending cuts to try to slash the soaring federal deficit, CNN has learned.

Documents obtained by CNN show that top advisers to the president have been privately weighing various versions of a commission, and opinions differ about how to structure it. Officials say that some inside the administration are pushing for a narrow mandate because it's too complicated to tackle reform of the tax system and possible spending cuts to various popular programs such as Social Security and Medicare all at once.

"Each major category of fiscal policy - Social Security, Medicare, discretionary spending, revenues - raises a complex and idiosyncratic array of policy problems and prescriptions," according to the documents detailing some of the administration's deliberations. "Achieving consensus on any one of these issues - much less all of them simultaneously - may be more than the political system can reasonably accommodate."

But officials told CNN that other advisers to the president are pushing for the commission to have a broad mandate to put all of these big issues "on the table" at the same time.

Read more: Obama weighs creating commission to propose tax hikes, spending cuts


Filed under: Politics
soundoff (22 Responses)
  1. Mike

    And Scottie try to follow this we have among the highest Corp Taxes in the world. Look it up

    February 3, 2010 at 12:29 am |
  2. Mike

    Scott Davis you are a moron... You seem like a socialist pig.. I can't even think right now as you hurt my head. You and other socalist morons are the problem with america

    February 3, 2010 at 12:28 am |
  3. msuspartys

    I'm not sure if only 45% of people in this country pay taxes or not. I thought if you buy durable goods in this country you pay sales tax. I think they tax in other ways also. Income taxes are only a portion of the total taxes being gained.

    December 25, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  4. Jan

    An other government agency, who pays for that? Obama is so confused, he don't know what he is doing any more. Living the live style he never had. Not showing that he is a president, with an open shirt and no tie, he looks like a "boy" from the not so well part of any Big Town. Is there some one in the White house that can correct this man??

    December 21, 2009 at 1:03 pm |
  5. Bob Himell

    R. Duffy. Please explain to me why you think Bush and Cheney did such a wonderful job prior to our new and glorious leader. Your obviously have a problem with the color black. Discriminate against all blacks because you do not like Obama. Very Sad.

    December 20, 2009 at 3:44 pm |
  6. ModernThinker

    Sorry, Richard. But unless you plan to refuse taking your social security check or not sign up for Medicare when your time comes to qualify, I wouldn't talk about socialism. As for history not electing another black person, I don't see what race has to do with it. We can't see you online, but my guess is you have a white hood and white robe hanging in your closet. And Dick Cheney's photo is proudly displayed on your living room wall.

    December 20, 2009 at 3:12 pm |
  7. craig

    "...sweeping tax increases...." I knew that was coming – the great redistribution of wealth continues unabated....how long before America wakes up and realizes that it is a truly socialist country?

    December 20, 2009 at 3:03 pm |
  8. RICHARD D. DUFFY

    Sorry James. The president is not on the right track. Study socialism and compare it to the direction obama is trying to lead some Americans. Look at the CZARS concept. Compare the Pied Piper's promises vs reality? How do they match up? America made a gigantic mistake taking on the Chicago community organizer. So much for hope and change. History will make sure another black person never gets elected to be President. Too bad. This was our chance to put some of our bad history behind us.

    December 20, 2009 at 1:02 pm |
  9. Bob Himell

    I agree, he is our leader and trying hard to get us out of a terrible mess that he did not start. Everyone needs to wake up, and be Americans and forget your 1 or 2 issues that in the scope of the entire world is somewhat insignificant. Merry Christmas to everyone. Peace on Earth.

    December 20, 2009 at 12:45 pm |
  10. james

    I am so sick of this talk of socialism. Is Capitalism working for everyone or just the rich? Americans wake up, whatever the future holds it is up to us to make changes now, so support the President. He seems to be the only one on the right track.

    December 20, 2009 at 10:28 am |
  11. Scott Davis

    Notice what's not being said. Military is off the table. We spend more than the next 22 countries combined. We have no credible enemies. 9/11 was a crime not an act of war. If we treated it that way we'd have caught the people involved instead of spending 2 trillion occupying two countries.
    Why do we have the lowest top bracket of any comparable country? Because we still believe their propaganda that the rich create jobs. Little entrepreneurs create jobs. Tax the billionaires 100% and give it to the guys trying to make their first million, and watch the economy take off. Lazy fat cats. Do nothing but lay us off.

    December 20, 2009 at 9:06 am |
  12. chaz

    Generations of crooked politicians have let our sacred programs which were funded by our paycheck deductions be raided by greedy interests. How about a novel idea. STOP the foreign aid until these programs become solvent again. Lord knows foreign aid does not get to the people who need it anyway. It is used to prop up dictators and build armies around them.

    December 19, 2009 at 5:50 pm |
  13. Bob Himell

    Let me get this right. Spend the money and then figure out how to pay. Sounds irresponsible to me. Its been going on for decades and no one wants the job of fixing the problem. In the last 50 years there has only been one short period where we saw surplus in the federal government and we went to war over Clinton for years over his inappropriate behavior and said nothing about what Bush and Cheney did for our budget.
    1. Fix the IRS and tax codes so everyone pays their fare share. Stop the loop holes.
    2. Eliminate PORK by having one term politicians which also eliminates the $ politicians spend trying to get re-elected.
    3. Stop spreading our form of democracy on the world via WARS
    4. Lower the cost of health care by fixing all the waste in the health care industry. A.Universal paperwork B. Smart Card with health info for all Americans. C. Cap mal-practice law suits which also lowers mal-practice insurance for doctors. D. Eliminate non-insured people using the emergency room as their primary care facility.
    I will stop now but could go on and on with all the problems that need be addressed.

    December 19, 2009 at 12:44 pm |
  14. Bob Himell

    We have 60 votes on the health bill. WOOPY. The democratic hold out wants to know what's in it for me and my state. Very SAD. I would like to know what's in it for us, the American people.
    1.Abortion will go back to unwanted pregnancies or back street abortions.
    2. If you are an adult with pre-existing conditions too bad until 2014.
    What a waste. Hundreds of politicians acting like spoiled children.
    Why can't the great USA take care of their people like other countries.
    3. I think we need to vote in moderate independents on one term to eliminate PORK and who care about all the people. Wouldn't that be a nice Holiday Gift.

    December 19, 2009 at 12:26 pm |
  15. doug corder

    Before cutting any benefits to the public such as Social security, they need to stop spending money on the wars, stop ALL of the pork that is going into bills for pet projects. Then look at raising taxes fairly based on income or a flat tax for all. Social Security would be fine if they would not have raided the fund all these years. We have to pay our bills, they need to pay what they owe. Maybe we should all stop paying taxes then they would not have an income. Lets see how that would work. The President is in a hard place he his having to try and find fixes for the last two administrations screw ups.

    December 18, 2009 at 1:25 pm |
  16. John

    The rich already pay their share of taxes. 45% of Americans pay no tax at all. That means that 1.2 of the population pays for the other half. Guess which half is paying. Certainly not the poor. So for anyone to say that the rich need to pay their share obviously don't know what they are talking about. How about a fair tax.

    December 18, 2009 at 10:41 am |
  17. Mitchell

    Seems like the goal of Obama and the current congress is to ensure we become a bankrupt and socolist nation.

    December 18, 2009 at 1:18 am |
  18. Ralph Patch

    I don't think taxes are all that bad if we get something for our money. We need to make the rich start paying their share but we will all have to pay more to get us out of debt. One thing we should do is quit trying to police the world. While we trow away our national treasure on war, the rest of the world is passing us by.

    December 17, 2009 at 8:41 am |
  19. NORM GURR

    In order to cut the deficit, the politicians say its either tax or cut. I say
    BUILD ON YOUR PRIDE AS A COUNTRY BY MAKING THE FOLLOWING AS YOUR MANTRA

    GROW THE ECONOMY RAPIDLY TO INCREASE TAXES IN THE FUTURE.
    The research opportunities are massive -Stimulate that.= Reduce taxes for those individuals, companies and corporations to assure it happens. Do not punish them for doing well with higher taxes.

    December 17, 2009 at 8:11 am |
  20. Mike M, Lady Lake, Fl

    Just how much in deficit spending did the Republican majority ( during the Bush Administration (01 – 07)), place on the Fed credit card that has contributed to this NOW (all of a sudden) deficit? Where were the Republicans then on the deficiy, and remind me what VP Cheney said about Fed deficits just a few years ago! You talk about the fire calling the kettle black.............

    December 17, 2009 at 7:42 am |
  21. Ric

    Really? Sounds like closing the barn door after the horses are already out! Simple thing to do...just stop all non-discretionary spending and freeze budgets where they are. No exceptions!

    December 16, 2009 at 5:48 pm |
  22. Lisa

    What, are you kidding me?
    We give billions out knowing we were creating a large deficit and NOW we decide we need to raise taxes or cut vital programs like Social Security and Medicare. How about some of our banks being held accountable for their fat paychecks? How about some of our brilliant politicians agreeing to give up some of their fat paychecks? Yeah, I know that's a funny one!

    December 16, 2009 at 4:59 pm |